Is Silicone Better than Plastic?

In the past few years silicone has entered the ring as the new saviour to plastic.  Here's why:

BENEFITS

  1. Unlike plastic, there isn't any evidence that it leaches hormone disrupting chemicals into your food and body, regardless of temperature.
  2.  It can be washed and reused for a long time period (years).
  3. It's very durable


CONCERNS

  1. It doesn't biodegrade, so when you're done with it, it never goes away (like plastic).
  2. It's not widely recycled.  Try finding a recycling facility in your region is a bit of a needle the haystack situation.
  3. Even though it technically comes from sand, it's ultimately synthetic and the manufacturing may have some issues.

So what do you think? 

Do you use Silicone bags, cookie sheets, microwave lids? 

Do you think we should sell silicone products until we have a better solution?

Do you have a better solution?  

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Comments


  • I personally would love to see more biodegradable plastic (often made from corn), but made to stand up to some reuse, so that it biodegrades when you want it to – but not before. Perhaps this is a pipe dream, but when I think about things like freezing meat (my personal biggest use of plastic), that’s where I really need a single use, biodegradable option that will allow me to freeze meat for later use. At this point, some places apparently will recycle some of the plastic used to package meat in – but that’s very hard to find.

    Monique on
  • I use a silicone baking mat to avoid using disposable parchment paper (which is itself coated with silicone). I have had the same baking mat for 10 years, but it is true, that its end of life will be in a landfill (unless I can find a recycling facility for it).

    Vaccuum seleable silicone bags do exist, Loretta, but I do not know if they work as well as plastic bags.

    I would prefer if ETEE would be able to develop a product that is silicone free for freezer use. I understand this will be a bigger challenge, but I think it would be worth the research and investment.

    Celine on
  • It looked like plastic and seemed it would leave the same footprint so I have avoided using. Your pros and cons reaffirms this decision.

    Should Etee make this type if product until something better is found? That is ab unqualified NO! Put simply, it bastardizes the name and what that stands for. It would take away the incentive to look for proper solutions.

    Mary-Emily Cameron on
  • I pretty much agree with BonnieJean. However, I only use silicone when I don’t have a glass or metal alternative. Right now, I use it for food storage/microwave lids. Unfortunately, I use plastic for vacuum packing food for freezing/other storage. This is my biggest use of plastic. Would be interesting to see if there was some way of making vacuum able silicone bags. For other uses, I have found environmentally friendly choices.

    Loretta Franklin on
  • Silicone is longer-lasting and certainly safer. We must figure out how to recycle it—but to me it stands or falls on the same level of using cast iron or other metal pans. They don’t tend to recycle them, either, but they’re not dangerous to the environment. Of course metal CAN be recycled—but it’s not common to recycle cars, ovens, frying pans, etc. The difference here is that sand is a finite—and very depleted—resource.

    It’s a short term solution. We can use it safely and are far less likely to waste it than plastic. It’s not considered disposable, which is a huge bonus. I do use silicone, just as I use cast iron and other metals in my kitchen. It’s not stupid or wasteful consumption, but life-long use.

    Silicone is a wise intermediary, to wean people from the wasteful habits we developed in the 1970s-2010s. Ultimately, it’s like glass, which is my absolute preference. Like glass, at least in my neck of the woods, it’s not recycled (though it is recyclable). But unlike glass, it’s not easily broken, and it has a flexibility (both physically and practically) that makes it welcome to any earth-friendly home.

    BonnieJean Kurle on


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